Clements Hall
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Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

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Our audio-guided history walks

The following walks are available:

Soldiers and Zeppelins: WW1 in South Bank, York

Zeppelin over B Road captionThis is our latest walk, based on the research we carried out in our Heritage Lottery funded project about WW1. That project finished in 2017, but the results of our research are available on our website here. We invite you to think about how World War 1 impacted upon our area of York, South Bank.

WW1 walk mapIt is a linear walk, which should take about an hour to an hour and a half. It starts outside Clements Hall on Nunthorpe Road, and finishes at Beresford Terrace, off Bishopthorpe Road, where it is a short walk to the shops and cafes on Bishy Road, as it is known.

There is a bus route along Bishopthorpe Road and a number 11 or 26 bus will take you to and from the city centre.

Click here for a pdf of this walk for you to print out, if you prefer

Accessibility notes

There are benches at various places, and the walk is suitable for wheelchair users.

Hidden Clementhorpe

Hidden ClementhorpeThis walk uncovers the history of Clementhorpe, just outside the York City Walls and along the west bank of the River Ouse.

Clementhorpe was one of York’s earlier suburbs, and it has a long and diverse industrial history. Our members John Stephens and Mave Morris carried out much research to explore these industries last year, and you can see their results on our website here. Now John has created a walk to trace the remains of these old concerns, which date from the early nineteenth century up to the present day. While modern Clementhorpe is very largely residential in character, there is much of interest to explore.

Hidden Clementhorpe walk mapDuring the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the area supported a wide variety of industries, including shipbuilding, glass making, malting and brewing, tanning, dying and thread making, manufacture of fertilisers, ropes, nails, ironwork and confectionery. The river was lined with busy wharves, and horses were everywhere.

The walk is approximately two kilometres (just over a mile), and should take between one and two hours to complete.

Skeldergate Bridge can be noisy with traffic, so we’re starting our walk underneath it, on the north west side of the bridge. Here is Terry Avenue, the road which runs beside the river. Carefully cross this road and stop on the paved area next to the bridge with a bench. Listen to the commentary.

If you intend to follow this walk, occasional flooding may cause problems.

We’re very grateful to John Stevens for his hard work in creating this fascinating walk.

Click here for a pdf of this walk for you to print out, if you prefer

Accessibility notes

This walk should not present problems to wheelchair users, as there are dropped kerbs throughout the area. 

A walk around South Bank in York

Walking appThe walk draws upon material from our book Shadows in the Bricks: the old shops of South Bank in York. We try to paint a picture of life 100 years ago, and discover the surprising roots of local clubs, schools and churches. Did you know about the trams in South Bank and how they shaped our neighbourhood? You’ll hear about two local mansions and then how housing for artisans was first built in the late 19th century. There is the devastating damage to the area caused by two World Wars, including an eye-witness account from 1916. We look at the reputed site of a 15th century beheading. We notice the distinctive alleyways and talk about a surprising local link to the history of lupins. The temperance movement played a large part in shaping our area, so we look at local pubs.  We can also reveal more about the famous Count de Burgh.

Plan South Bank WalkThe walk takes around an hour and a half. It starts at the top of Ovington Terrace, where it meets Philadelphia Terrace, and finishes in Nunthorpe Grove. There are benches in second half of the walk. You can park along Ovington Terrace, and it's a short walk back from the end of the walk in Nunthorpe Grove to the Terrace. 

Click here for a pdf of this walk for you to print out, if you prefer

Accessibility notes

In general terms this walk is accessible, as the pavement junctions across residential streets all have dropped kerbs and the walk doesn't cross any busy main roads. But we have spotted one or two potential problems. Thanks to our local councillors, the salt bin on Ovington Terrace has now been moved, to allow space for wheelchairs. The other problem was Kensington St, where inconsiderate pavement parking on the west side means you might need to keep to the east side. 

The Changing Face of York

Changing Face Walk coverThis walk explores the southern stretch of the River Ouse in York. It considers the impact of the river on the development of the City, the redevelopment of the iconic Terry’s Chocolate Works, and the importance of horse racing. It is full of variety, and includes elements of geography and geology as well as much about the history of the area.

Our member, John Stevens, has designed this walk to start at the Millennium Bridge, on the west side of the River Ouse, but you can start it at any point. The starting point is easily reached from the city centre on foot or bicycle, or the 11, 21 and 26 buses travel from the railway station along Bishopthorpe Road. If coming by car, you can park free on Campleshon Road or Knavesmire Road.

CF WalkPerhaps the best place for a drink and something to eat (after lockdown) is the Winning Post on Bishopthorpe Road (just a couple of hundred metres north of the junction with Campleshon Road).

This walk is around five kilometres/three miles and will take approximately 90 minutes, or a further 40 minutes if you choose to do the full racecourse circuit. 

Click here for a pdf of this walk for you to print out, if you prefer

Accessibility notes

This walk is unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems, as it involves stiles, sometimes wet and/or muddy patches, and ducking under the racecourse rails.

Bishy Road in York: a shopping street in time

Bishy Road Walk coverThis walk goes along the northern end of Bishopthorpe Road, as it approaches the city walls. It is based on our book Bishy Road: a York shopping street in time.

Bishy Road, as it's known, appears to be an unremarkable cluster of around thirty small shops. But the street is remarkable for its high proportion of independent shops, drawn together by a strong traders’ association and engendering a fierce community spirit and local pride. In 2015 the street achieved GB High St of the Year, beating off competition from hundreds of other shopping streets. It has a fascinating history. Who knew that two of our former traders took part in a Hollywood film twenty years ago? Or that we used to have two Chinese laundries on the street? Or that one of our traders used to sell pianos and beer? Or that York Teddy Boys used to flock to Bishy Road in the 1980s for their tailoring? 

Plan Bishy Road WalkThe walk takes you along the street today, showing you how retail trading has changed over the last 100 years and highlighting some fascinating stories. It starts on the corner of Scarcroft Road and Bishopthorpe Road.

This walk is just a short stroll, around 200 yards. The traffic can be noisy at times, so you may prefer to do this walk on a Sunday.

Click here for a pdf of this walk for you to print out, if you prefer

Accessibility notes

This short walk should not present problems for wheelchair users.


This app can be used on iPhone and most Android phones. (Unfortunately it may not be available for some Huawei phones because of the Google issue).

You will first need to download the free app onto your smartphone - go to Google Play Store/ iPhone App Store and find to do this.

When it's installed, select All Around Me. It will then ask you to allow it to track your location. If you're using an iPhone you may need to open and click on the Search field near the top of the screen first.

You should then see our walks as an option. Click on one for our contents screen.

Are you at the starting point? If you are, then press Play Audio for the introduction. You can also use this part of the commentary to adjust the sound on your phone if you wish.

Then press the Start

Then all you have to do is walk. Listen to the commentary and take time to look at the images which appear for a particular location. Tap on a photo to look at it and then swipe across for more. You can also read the notes if you wish, as they reflect the commentary.


If you’re using the app on location, when you've visited a feature it will change on the map from a number to a blue 'tick'. If you want to revisit any, then you need to 'reset' the walk, as they won't play again automatically while you're out and about.

    To do this on an Android phone, go back to the start page for the walk and click on the three red dots in the top right hand corner - press reset.

    On an iPhone, go to the home page of the app and look to the bottom of the screen. Tap My Profile > Preferences > Cache Settings > Tap Clear Visiting History and then tap Reset Cache and allow the app to clear all data and to relaunch.

When you're listening to an audio clip, it is possible to use the control bar lower down on your screen, to stop and start. This may change the bar at the top to red, indicating you are no longer in 'auto' mode. Just tap again to go back to 'auto'. (If you are still in 'manual mode' and walking, the next clip will not play automatically.)